“A thoughtfully written, persuasive account explaining emotional intelligence and why it can be crucial.”—USA Today
Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman's brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny.
Drawing on groundbreaking brain and behavioral research, Goleman shows the factors at work when people of high IQ flounder and those of modest IQ do surprisingly well. These factors, which include self-awareness, self-discipline, and empathy, add up to a different way of being smart—and they aren’t fixed at birth. Although shaped by childhood experiences, emotional intelligence can be nurtured and strengthened throughout our adulthood—with immediate benefits to our health, our relationships, and our work.
The twenty-fifth-anniversary edition of Emotional Intelligence could not come at a better time—we spend so much of our time online, more and more jobs are becoming automated and digitized, and our children are picking up new technology faster than we ever imagined. With a new introduction from the author, the twenty-fifth-anniversary edition prepares readers, now more than ever, to reach their fullest potential and stand out from the pack with the help of EI.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||Anniversary Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The New Yardstick
The rules for work are changing. We're being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other. This yardstick is increasingly applied in choosing who will be hired and who will not, who will be let go and who retained, who passed over and who promoted.
The new rules predict who is most likely to become a star performer and who is most prone to derailing. And, no matter what field we work in currently, they measure the traits that are crucial to our marketability for future jobs.
These rules have little to do with what we were told was important in school; academic abilities are largely irrelevant to this standard. The new measure takes for granted having enough intellectual ability and technical know-how to do our jobs; it focuses instead on personal qualities, such as initiative and empathy, adaptability and persuasiveness.
This is no passing fad, nor just the management nostrum of the moment. The data that argue for taking it seriously are based on studies of tens of thousands of working people, in callings of every kind. The research distills with unprecedented precision which qualities mark a star performer. And it demonstrates which human abilities make up the greater part of the ingredients for excellence at work—most especially for leadership.
If you work in a large organization, even now you are probably being evaluated in terms of these capabilities, though you may not know it. If you are applying for a job, you are likely to be scrutinized through this lens, though, again, no one will tell you so explicitly. Whatever your job, understanding how to cultivate these capabilities can be essential for success in your career.
If you are part of a management team, you need to consider whether your organization fosters these competencies or discourages them. To the degree your organizational climate nourishes these competencies, your organization will be more effective and productive. You will maximize your group's intelligence, the synergistic interaction of every person's best talents.
If you work for a small organization or for yourself, your ability to perform at peak depends to a very great extent on your having these abilities—though almost certainly you were never taught them in school. Even so, your career will depend, to a greater or lesser extent, on how well you have mastered these capacities.
In a time with no guarantees of job security, when the very concept of a "job" is rapidly being replaced by "portable skills," these are prime qualities that make and keep us employable. Talked about loosely for decades under a variety of names, from "character" and "personality" to "soft skills" and "competence," there is at last a more precise understanding of these human talents, and a new name for them: emotional intelligence.
A Different Way of Being Smart
"I had the lowest cumulative grade point average ever in my engineering school," the codirector of a consulting firm tells me. "But when I joined the army and went to officer candidate school, I was number one in my class—it was all about how you handle yourself, get along with people, work in teams, leadership. And that's what I find to be true in the world of work."
In other words, what matters is a different way of being smart. In my book Emotional Intelligence, my focus was primarily on education, though a short chapter dealt with implications for work and organizational life.
What caught me by utter surprise—and delighted me—was the flood of interest from the business community. Responding to a tidal wave of letters and faxes, e-mails and phone calls, requests to speak and consult, I found myself on a global odyssey, talking to thousands of people, from CEOs to secretaries, about what it means to bring emotional intelligence to work.
* * *
This search has taken me back to research I participated in while a graduate student, and then faculty member, at Harvard University. That research was part of an early challenge to the IQ mystique—the false but widely embraced notion that what matters for success is intellect alone. This work helped spawn what has now become a mini-industry that analyzes the actual competencies that make people successful in jobs and organizations of every kind, and the findings are astonishing: IQ takes second position to emotional intelligence in determining outstanding job performance.
Analyses done by dozens of different experts in close to five hundred corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide have arrived independently at remarkably similar conclusions, and their findings are particularly compelling because they avoid the biases or limits inherent in the work of a single individual or group. Their conclusions all point to the paramount place of emotional intelligence in excellence on the jobin virtually any job.
As I've toured the world talking and consulting with people in business, I've encountered certain widespread misunderstandings about emotional intelligence. Let me clear up some of the most common at the outset. First, emotional intelligence does not mean merely "being nice." At strategic moments it may demand not "being nice," but rather, for example, bluntly confronting someone with an uncomfortable but consequential truth they've been avoiding.
Second, emotional intelligence does not mean giving free rein to feelings—"letting it all hang out." Rather, it means managing feelings so that they are expressed appropriately and effectively, enabling people to work together smoothly toward their common goals.
Also, women are not "smarter" than men when it comes to emotional intelligence, nor are men superior to women. Each of us has a personal profile of strengths and weaknesses in these capacities. Some of us may be highly empathic but lack some abilities to handle our own distress; others may be quite aware of the subtlest shift in our own moods, yet be inept socially.
It is true that men and women as groups tend to have a shared, gender-specific profile of strong and weak points. An analysis of emotional intelligence in thousands of men and women found that women, on average, are more aware of their emotions, show more empathy, and are more adept interpersonally. Men, on the other hand, are more self-confident and optimistic, adapt more easily, and handle stress better.
In general, however, there are far more similarities than differences. Some men are as empathic as the most interpersonally sensitive women, while some women are every bit as able to withstand stress as the most emotionally resilient men. Indeed, on average, looking at the overall ratings for men and women, the strengths and weaknesses average out, so that in terms of total emotional intelligence, there are no sex differences.
Finally, our level of emotional intelligence is not fixed genetically, nor does it develop only in early childhood. Unlike IQ, which changes little after our teen years, emotional intelligence seems to be largely learned, and it continues to develop as we go through life and learn from our experiences—our competence in it can keep growing. In fact, studies that have tracked people's level of emotional intelligence through the years show that people get better and better in these capabilities as they grow more adept at handling their own emotions and impulses, at motivating themselves, and at honing their empathy and social adroitness. There is an old-fashioned word for this growth in emotional intelligence: maturity.
Why This Matters Now
At a California biotech start-up, the CEO proudly enumerated the features that made his organization state-of-the-art: No one, including him, had a fixed office; instead, everyone carried a small laptop—their mobile office—and was wired to everyone else. Job titles were irrelevant; employees worked in cross-functional teams and the place bubbled with creative energy. People routinely put in seventy- and eighty-hour work weeks.
"So what's the downside?" I asked him.
"There is no downside," he assured me.
And that was the fallacy. Once I was free to talk with staff members, I heard the truth: The hectic pace had people feeling burned out and robbed of their private lives. And though everyone could talk via computer to everyone else, people felt that no one was truly listening to them.
People desperately felt the need for connection, for empathy, for open communication.
In the new, stripped-down, every-job-counts business climate, these human realities will matter more than ever. Massive change is a constant; technical innovations, global competition, and the pressures of institutional investors are ever-escalating forces for flux.
Another reality makes emotional intelligence ever more crucial: As organizations shrink through waves of downsizing, those people who remain are more accountable—and more visible. Where earlier a midlevel employee might easily hide a hot temper or shyness, now competencies such as managing one's emotions, handling encounters well, teamwork, and leadership, show—and countmore than ever.
The globalization of the workforce puts a particular premium on emotional intelligence in wealthier countries. Higher wages in these countries, if they are to be maintained, will depend on a new kind of productivity. And structural fixes or technological advances alone are not enough: As at the California biotech firm, streamlining or other innovations often create new problems that cry out for even greater emotional intelligence.
As business changes, so do the traits needed to excel. Data tracking the talents of star performers over several decades reveal that two abilities that mattered relatively little for success in the 1970s have become crucially important in the 1990s: team building and adapting to change. And entirely new capabilities have begun to appear as traits of star performers, notably change catalyst and leveraging diversity. New challenges demand new talents.
A Coming Crisis: Rising IQ, Dropping EQ
Since 1918, when World War I brought the first mass use of IQ tests on American army recruits, the average IQ score in the United States has risen 24 points, and there has been a similar rise in developed countries around the world. The reasons include better nutrition, more children completing more schooling, computer games and puzzles that help children master spatial skills, and smaller family size (which generally correlates with higher IQ scores in children).
There is a dangerous paradox at work, however: As children grow ever smarter in IQ, their emotional intelligence is on the decline. Perhaps the most disturbing single piece of data comes from a massive survey of parents and teachers that shows the present generation of children to be more emotionally troubled than the last. On average, children are growing more lonely and depressed, more angry and unruly, more nervous and prone to worry, more impulsive and aggressive.
Two random samples of American children, age seven to sixteen, were evaluated by their parents and teachers—adults who knew them well. The first group was assessed in the mid-1970s, and a comparable group was surveyed in the late 1980s. Over that decade and a half there was a steady worsening of children's emotional intelligence. Although poorer children started out at a lower level on average, the rate of decline was the same across all economic groups—as steep in the wealthiest suburbs as in the poorest inner-city slum.
Dr. Thomas Achenbach, the University of Vermont psychologist who did these studies—and who has collaborated with colleagues on similar assessments in other nations—tells me that the decline in children's basic emotional competencies seems to be worldwide. The most telling signs of this are seen in rising rates among young people of problems such as despair, alienation, drug abuse, crime and violence, depression or eating disorders, unwanted pregnancies, bullying, and dropping out of school.
What this portends for the workplace is quite troubling: growing deficiencies among workers in emotional intelligence, particularly among those newest to the job. Most of the children that Achenbach studied in the late 1980s will be in their twenties by the year 2000. The generation that is falling behind in emotional intelligence is entering the workforce today.
Reading Group Guide
1. Since it's initial publication, the phrase "emotional intelligence," or the shorthand, "EQ," has become widespread, showing up in settings as unlikely as the cartoon strip "Dilbert," on boxes of toys that claim to boost a child's EQ, and in personal ads seeking prospective mates. Where was the first place you heard of emotional intelligence, or EQ? What are some examples of appropriate and inappropriate uses of the term you've heard?
2. In 1995, there were only a handful of programs teaching emotional intelligence skills to children. Now, a decade later, there are tens of thousands of schools worldwide that have embraced the concept in the form of programs in "social and emotional learning," or SEL. Have you come across such programs in your personal or professional life? Do you believe it's possible–or appropriate–for schools to teach emotional skills to students? If parents don't teach these skills, and schools shouldn't, who should?
3. The author states that, in business, IQ scores predict extremely well whether a person can handle the cognitive challenges a given position demands. But IQ washes out when it comes to predicting who, among a talented pool of candidates within an intellectually demanding profession, will becomes the strongest leader. As the head of research at a global executive search firm put it, "CEOs are hired for their intellect and business expertise–and fired for a lack of emotional intelligence." How do you apply emotional intelligence skills in the workplace? Has your EQ ever played a part in your career? Has your EQ ever been evaluated in the hiring process?
4. How does the concept of emotional intelligence resonate with outlooks in religious beliefs around the world? Does it reverberate with your own faith?
5. The book portrays a society suffering from a breakdown of emotional intelligence. It cites the following statistics: Violent crimes by young people are up by a factor of four over the past twenty years. Suicides have tripled among young people in the same period, and forcible rape has doubled. Though he acknowledges that factors such as poverty play a role in the creation of violent criminals, Dr. Goleman says, "Every time we read about another senseless murder, it's a sign of emotional intelligence gone awry." What current or recent events in the news strike you as possible examples of emotional illiteracy? Do you believe there's hope for improving our collective social life by teaching emotional skills to individuals?
6. Are women more emotionally intelligent than men? Dr. Goleman doesn't believe so. He finds that each gender has its emotional strengths and weaknesses. Women are trained to be more empathetic–thus, they are often better than men are at picking up "the subtle, unspoken emotional dimension" of communication. On the other hand, women are treated for depression at twice the rate men are. Men are often better at managing their moods–a key component of emotional intelligence. What other patterns of strengths and weaknesses might be attributed to the sexes, respectively? Do you believe boys should be trained to be more aware of others' moods? Do you think girls could be given skills that would help them be more optimistic? Do you believe there are innate differences in the emotional capacities of the genders?
7. Contrary to popular wisdom, Emotional Intelligence argues that venting anger–by yelling, for instance–can cause more harm than good. The author believes catharsis has an undeserved popularity as a method of handling anger. He cites studies that show that the net effect of lashing out is to prolong rage rather than to end it. Do you think it’s desirable–or possible–to avoid emotional displays of anger? In what other ways can extreme frustration be expressed? Have you ever regretted an unplanned outburst of rage? Ever seen a tantrum produce a desired result?
8. According to the author, emotions are impulses that compel us toward–or away from–various courses of action. "Formal logic alone can never work as the basis for deciding who to marry or trust or even what job to take; these are the realms where reason without feeling is blind." He believes that gut reactions and intuitions are more than mere momentary whims, that they are sophisticated calculations based on a quick-but-careful review of past experience. Are your important life decisions based more on rationality, or on an emotion-based "gut instinct?" Can you recall any occasion when an instantaneous decision reached by your emotional circuitry steered you right . . . or wrong?
9. A previous bestselling book, The Bell Curve, asserts that one's intellectual capacities are fixed: The Bell Curve's authors claim there's no way to transcend the IQ you were born with. Emotional Intelligence defines intelligence more broadly, positing that there is an emotional brain that greatly influences the workings of the rational brain, that both contribute to one's level of intelligence, and that emotional skills can be improved on. Which view of intelligence do you find more valid, and why?
10. Tests of aspects of emotional intelligence, such as "The Marshmallow Test," have proven to be strong predictors of future success. Some four-year-olds who took "The Marshmallow Test" were able to restrain their desire for a treat in favor of a greater reward later. This triumph over the urge for immediate gratification turned out to have a far-reaching impact later in life. As high-school seniors, those who had "passed" the test "were more academically competent: better able to put their ideas into words, to use and respond to reason, to concentrate, to make plans and follow through on them, and more eager to learn. Most astonishingly, they had dramatically higher scores on their SAT tests." Given such evidence that emotional skills affect one's capacity for success, do you believe children should be given standardized tests that measure not just IQ, but also emotional intelligence?
11. The book offers compelling evidence that parents' degree of emotional skill goes far toward determining their children's level of emotional intelligence. Can you recall ways in which your parents enhanced or deterred the development of any of the five components of emotional intelligence (self-awareness; emotional control; self-motivation; empathy; handling relationships) in you or your siblings?
12. Empathy is a key component of emotional intelligence; sensitivity to others' feelings is a prerequisite to developing strong relationships. Researchers believe that 90% of emotional communication is non-verbal. What are some examples of unspoken cues people use to express their feelings?
13. Dr. Goleman says modern medical care often lacks emotional intelligence. "Medicine's inattention to the impact of emotions on illness neglects a growing body of evidence which indicates that emotional states can play a significant role in vulnerability to disease and in the course of their recovery." He claims that "there are many ways medicine can incorporate new knowledge about the impact of emotions on health into its view of patient care." Have you, or has someone you know, experienced emotional insensitivity at the hands of medical professionals? How far should the health-care delivery system go in concerning itself with patients' emotion?